Climate Justice Dialogue Project

by Karen Quiroz | Aug 31, 2010
| 1 Comment
Competition Winner

This entry has been selected as a winner in the
SpectrumTrust Multicultural Endowment competition.

Summary:

This project addresses the racism within current climate change policies in the region that do not incorporate the concerns of communities of color. It is well documented that as climate change occurs, communities of color will be disproportionately impacted. This was readily apparent in the response following the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In the Twin Cities, communities of color and Indigenous communities already burdened with limited access to health care, will feel the burden of temperature fluctuations through increased high heat index days, spreading of vector borne diseases, and an increased risk of asthma. During the Chicago heat wave in 1995, 525 people died over a 5-day period with a majority being those without access to air conditioning and proper ventilation.

Solutions to climate change deal with extensively re-developing much of our infrastructure that is energy inefficient, with a heavy focus on the housing sector. However, policies to date have had no racial analysis to the problem, with solutions in turn reinforcing historical inequities. The Climate Justice Dialogue Project builds on the Center’s past work of convening a cross-cultural community of activists here in the Twin Cities, to redefine the narrative around climate change to one that resonates with communities of color. The Project will document through media, art, and text a new racial lens narrative to climate change and develop solutions that, at their core, incorporate racial justice.

About You

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About You

First Name

Shalini

Last Name

Gupta

Title

director

Organization

Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

Country

United States, MN, Hennepin County

About Your Organization

Organization Name

Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

Organization Email

Organization Website

Organization Phone

612-870-3404

Organization Address

C/O IATP, 2105 First Avenue South

Organization City

Minneapolis

Organization Zipcode

55404

Brief description of your organization

The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works to ensure that communities of color participate in climate change policy debates. IATP works to ensure a just and sustainable world for farmers and marginalized communities, both urban and rural.

Organization Country

United States, MN, Hennepin County

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Your idea

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Name your project

Climate Justice Dialogue Project

Country your work focuses on

United States, MN, Hennepin County

Describe your project. Explain the extent to which it mitigates the effects of racism

This project addresses the racism within current climate change policies in the region that do not incorporate the concerns of communities of color. It is well documented that as climate change occurs, communities of color will be disproportionately impacted. This was readily apparent in the response following the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In the Twin Cities, communities of color and Indigenous communities already burdened with limited access to health care, will feel the burden of temperature fluctuations through increased high heat index days, spreading of vector borne diseases, and an increased risk of asthma. During the Chicago heat wave in 1995, 525 people died over a 5-day period with a majority being those without access to air conditioning and proper ventilation.
Solutions to climate change deal with extensively re-developing much of our infrastructure that is energy inefficient, with a heavy focus on the housing sector. However, policies to date have had no racial analysis to the problem, with solutions in turn reinforcing historical inequities. The Climate Justice Dialogue Project builds on the Center’s past work of convening a cross-cultural community of activists here in the Twin Cities, to redefine the narrative around climate change to one that resonates with communities of color. The Project will document through media, art, and text a new racial lens narrative to climate change and develop solutions that, at their core, incorporate racial justice.

Project starting date

November 2010

Project ending date

November 2011

Total project budget - required field

$24,795

Website URL

Innovation

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What makes your project unique?

This project is unique because it will: (1) reframe the climate change debate to have at its core a racial justice analysis; and (2) build a grassroots multi-cultural movement around just climate policy in the Twin Cities. This currently does not exist here in the region. The work will be the foundation from which to develop racially just climate change policy moving forward.

There is urgency for communities of color to engage on climate change policies on their own terms. Not only are they on the front lines of feeling the impacts of a changing climate, they are also the first to be bypassed as “green” policies are being formed. While substantial public funding for energy efficiency have come through the federal stimulus, many low income and communities of color are not benefitting to as great an extent. In a preliminary community survey conducted with moderate and low income people of color in St. Paul, we found that an overwhelming majority had no knowledge of existing energy programs.

Impact

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Tell us about the social impact of your project as it relates to ONE of these three areas: Education, Employment or Housing

Numerous policies being promoted in the name of climate change and energy cost reduction that will impact the future of housing development in the Twin Cities. In these discussions, communities of color are not at the table and there is no racial lens being applied. The millions of dollars being dispersed by state programs and nonprofits for housing efficiency improvements must be held accountable. The Project will be the basis for ensuring that a race-based analysis enters the climate policy debates around restructuring the housing sector. Buildings and housing account for more than 38 % U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (the main pollutants of climate change). Historically, the housing sector’s energy intensive development was paralleled by racially segregating housing and infrastructure policies. Codes prohibited neighborhood integration through racial covenants, redlining and housing regulation. By the 1970s less than 2 % of publicly subsidized housing went to people of color. Redlining further diverted much needed capital from city neighborhoods to the suburbs. To support the scale of suburban housing development, a massive highway system was also constructed. Taken together, these policies created a human settlement pattern of high energy and greenhouse gas intensity, and class and racial segregation. The impact of this change is with us today. Many communities of color are now living in old inefficient housing with high energy bill burdens. On average, about 16 % of a low income family’s income goes toward energy bills, compared 5 % among the general population.

List any specific activities associated with the project and a timeline for the activities

1)Conduct a Series of Climate & Race Dialogues. We will bring together a diverse set of activists of color in the Twin Cities that will work across sectors (art, policy, academics, organizing, media) to document an alternative narrative to climate change that incorporates a racial justice framework.

2)Documention using media, art, data and text. We will conduct short interviews of participant narratives; work with local visual artists Pramila Vasudevan and Ricardo Evans-Morales to create images to be utilized by activist groups; and develop factsheets on the issue. Materials will link to a climate justice website -- a resource to local, regional and national activists working on race and climate change.

December 2010:Climate & Race Dialogue 1; March 2011:Climate Justice resource website built; April 2011: Climate & Race Dialogue 2
May 2011: Ten Videos of Personal Race & Climate Completed and Released
July 2011 – Factsheets released on Race & Climate; August 2011:Completion of commissioned Race & Climate community activist art work; September 2011: Climate & Race Dialogue 3; November 2011: Draft report on key Climate Policy actions needed from a Race-based lens.

Please summarize the involvement of people of color in the decision-making of your project

Our Center and this project is under the guidance of an advisory board: LeMoine LaPointe, former Director of Healthy Nations at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (Lakota Sicangu); Liza O’Reilly, on leave, (Taino Tribal Nation of Boriken-Puerto Rico); Dr. Rose Brewer, Professor of African American & African Studies at U of M (African American); John Burton, Professor at Metropolitan State (African American); Nicky Sheats, Center for the Urban Environment, NJ (African American); Dr. Subodh Waegle (Prayas India) and Dr. John Byrne (University of Delaware, a member of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The Center at IATP’s director is Shalini Gupta (South Asian American) and our senior policy fellow is Dr. Cecilia Martinez (North American Indigenous-Pueblo).

Please list which communities of color your project will involve and/or impact

This phase of the project will focus on those communities our Center has had developed relationships with in the Twin Cities through our work the past few years. This includes: Latino, African American, Asian-American, and Indigenous Peoples.

What age group will your project impact?

Children (0-12 years), Teens/adolescents (13-19 years), Adults (20-60 years), Elders (60+ years).

Which gender(s) will your project focus on?

Male, Female.

What geographic area(s) will your project affect?

Twin Cities Metro Area (specify below).

If you selected either Twin Cities Metro Area or Other above, please specify or identify the area

Minneapolis and St. Paul

Sustainability

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

If your project is a collaborative effort, please list the other organizations involved

This specific project came out of multiple community discussions this past year with community of color activists in the Twin Cities. Groups and individuals involved in these discussions have included: Living Justice Press, AfroEco, West Side Citizens Organization, Waite House Mujeres en Liderazgo, Ananya Dance Theatre, Aniccha Arts, Unaffiliated Latina activist women living in South Minneapolis and their children, Healthy Nations at the American Indian Center, American Indian Green Jobs Coalition, PESCI/Women’s Environmental Institute, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, independent artists, Immigrant Freedom Network, Minneapolis Community Technical College, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and the Zenteotl Project.

Who or what is expected to change as a result of your project?

By reconstructing the climate change debate in racial historical terms, we will start to challenge the race-blind nature of current climate change policies. Documentation of the race-based narratives through video, reports, and art will be tools for a community based response in developing a racially just framework for climate policy.

What information will you provide in the final report to demonstrate the achievement of your results?

1)Number people at convenings and organizational affiliations. 2)Ten short interviews documenting personal stories on race and climate change. 3)Copies of art work created symbolizing Race & Climate. 4)Statistics on Climate Justice website usage (5)Factsheets developed and how used by participants. 6)Draft report on key Climate Policy actions needed from a Race-based lens and to whom it was sent.

What methods will be used to gather the information?

1)Participant Information–Sign-in, notes. 2)Interviews-Flip video recordings by staff. 3)Art Work–Contracted artist participation at Dialogues. 4)Website Stats –monitoring by staff. 5)Factsheets–Discussions from Dialogues are basis; staff adding supporting data. 6)Draft Policy Actions-Discussions from Dialogues are basis; staff adding supporting data.

What do you hope to learn about racism and its impact?

We hope to gain a collective multi-cultural understanding of how race and climate change intersect, as it relates to community concerns around housing and other related issues. Key Questions: How do different communities of color understand climate change from their respective historical/cultural contexts? What type of policies would be a racially just response to climate change?

What percentage do people of color comprise your board of directors?

85%

Documentation

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Funding sources: Please check all that apply

Foundations.

Other

In submitting this application, the applicant agrees to the following (check all boxes)

The applicant will spend the money solely for the purpose stated in the grant award and will return the unexpended portion of the funds, if any. In addition, the applicant will provide an interim and/or final report, as required., The applicant realizes that payment of funds will be at the convenience of the Foundation. The Foundation reserves the right to cancel the grant and/or modify previously agreed-upon payments should such actions be deemed necessary by the Foundation., The applicant understands that the Foundation may review any or all information submitted as part of this request with advisors of the Foundation’s choosing, if deemed necessary by the Foundation., The applicant intends to comply with the terms of the Minnesota Charitable Solicitation Act (MS §309), if applicable..

Martina Yusay said: Congratulations! You deserved to win and your hardships are all worth. - Michael Courouleau about this Competition Entry. - 1278 days ago read more >
Climate Justice Dialogue Project has been chosen as a winner in SpectrumTrust Multicultural Endowment. - 2307 days ago

Karen Quiroz updated this Competition Entry. - 2369 days ago

Karen Quiroz submitted this idea. - 2369 days ago